The Domestic and Commercial Sectors
The domestic and commercial electricity consumption is about 27 percent of the total consumption. In the domestic sector, consisting of individual households, electrical power is majorly used for the subsequent reasons:
- Cooling (fans, refrigerators, desert coolers, air conditioners and etc.);
- Heating (geysers, water heaters, room heaters and etc.);
- Domestic appliances (washing machines for dishes and clothes, toasters, mixers, entertainment systems, grinders, computers and etc.);
- Building air-conditioning and limited use for heating (HVAC); and
- Swimming pool water filtering amongst the urban elite and etc.
In the commercial sector that consists of offices, shops, schools, hospitals, banks, etc., lighting and Heating Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Cooling (HVAC) constitute the bulk of electricity use. Electricity demand in low-income urban areas, therefore, tends to be heavily skewed towards the peak periods of power demand in the mornings and evenings, even by total electricity usage is low.
Therefore, the necessary components of the demand side management and energy efficiency domain in these sectors are:
- Use of energy-efficient appliances;
- Efficient components for buildings; and
- Methods to manage an assembly of appliances and systems in sequence to improve the use of energy system capacities.
Huge quantities of electrical energy could be saved for less than the cost of generating and transmitting the same amount of electricity if we understand that except in the form of food, no one required or wants energy as such. That is to say, no one needs to eat coal or uranium, drink oil, breathe natural gas or be directly connected to an electric supply! What people needs are energy services - those services that energy can give uniquely in an efficient and desirable manner. Why don't you make a list of the energy services required through the domestic and commercial consumers?
Several opportunities to implement demand side management can be uncovered simply through attitudinal changes. For example, by recognizing which we don't just want energy, we want the services that energy provides. For instance, we should be happy to use an energy efficient fridge versus a standard fridge provided which both provide the similar services (i.e., they both keep our food cool). Therefore, the more efficient the ways of giving energy services required through the consumers are, the greater would be the energy savings. Air conditioning is more prevalent in the commercial sector than in the domestic sector - at least in poor countries and countries along with temperate climates. In both these sectors, the bulk of energy consumption is inside buildings and appliances. From experience, we know that buildings consume a large chunk of the available energy and rely more on artificial lighting than on natural lighting and ventilation.
There are several opportunities and methods available for reducing energy consumption such as efficient motors and transformers, day lighting, variable speed drives, solar hot water systems and etc. These technologies decrease demand, help in lowering high peak prices and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions because of less stress on generating plants. The underlying idea for DSM in these sectors is to encourage people to use more efficient energy technologies to get more power for the same amount of energy inputs and decreased costs as well as to change the ways in that they use energy.
The DSM strategies which can be adopted for improving energy efficiency in the commercial and domestic sectors are:
1. Enforcement and Development of energy efficiency standards;
2. Mandatory energy labeling and ISI certification of all energy using devices;
3. Awareness campaigns;
4. Providing incentives to energy efficient equipment manufacturers;
5. Promotion of vapour absorption refrigerators to utilize waste heat available in hotels/restaurants;
6. Use of energy efficient lighting appliances such as CFLs, electronic ballasts, etc. by reducing excise duty in order to reduce their high initial cost;
7. Promotion of energy efficient buildings, etc.
We now shortly discuss some specific DSM measures which can be taken in these sectors.